|Publication number||US7204074 B2|
|Application number||US 11/130,599|
|Publication date||Apr 17, 2007|
|Filing date||May 17, 2005|
|Priority date||Jul 30, 2003|
|Also published as||US6948300, US20050210855|
|Publication number||11130599, 130599, US 7204074 B2, US 7204074B2, US-B2-7204074, US7204074 B2, US7204074B2|
|Inventors||Jerry E. Bandstra, Bradley D. Nelson|
|Original Assignee||Vermeer Manufacturing Company|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (22), Referenced by (14), Classifications (10), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a Continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/630,443 filed Jul. 30, 2003 now U.S. Pat. No. 6,948,300, entitled WIDE PICKUP HEADER FOR A ROUND BAILER, and is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates generally to farm machinery. More particularly the present invention relates to a forage harvesting machine that includes a pickup header that is wider than the bale forming unit, providing the capability to pickup forage in a windrow that lies outside the side-boundaries of the bale forming unit.
2. Background Art
Forage may be harvested with a large round (cylindrical) baler, for instance. Such harvesting equipment, such as large round balers, include a pickup header for lifting the forage off the ground, from the windrow, and directing it into the harvesting equipment. Not infrequently, due to equipment wheels or wind, a windrow may become wider than the processing portion of the harvester, such as the bale-forming chamber of a large round baler. As well, when turning, it may become difficult or impossible to align the pickup header with the existing windrow. In either of these cases, the material outside the side of the processing portion (such as the bale-forming unit of a large round baler) needs to be moved in a direction perpendicular to the windrow, as well as being picked up, in order to be positioned to correctly engage the processing elements.
In a large round baler, the material that is picked-up by the header is transported to the bale forming chamber for processing, for being compacted into a round bale. Many models of round balers are manufactured, typically either fixed chamber balers or variable chamber balers. The fixed chamber balers include a bale forming chamber of a fixed bale diameter, where the material is not significantly compacted until the bale reaches the bale diameter. The variable chamber balers include a bale forming chamber of variable diameter, and the material is compressed as it is formed. Both types typically are mounted on a 2-wheel chassis, to be pulled by a tractor.
The location of the pickup header relative to the bale forming chamber is important for both types of round balers, as minimizing the distance in which material travels between the pickup and the bale forming chamber reduces potential negative affects. These negative affects include the potential for undesirable movement, like material being affected by strong cross winds, and damage caused to the crop, an example being leaf loss for alfalfa. For variable chamber balers this relationship is more critical as the pickup tines or teeth act on the crop material when beginning to form a small bale, as it begins to be compacted and the bale begins to be formed. The location of the pickup will thus affect the capability of the baler to properly start forming a bale.
The location of the pickup header relative to the baler wheels is also important because the wheel/tire diameter is fairly constant. If the header is close to the baler wheels then the baler wheels will assist to control the ground clearance of the pickup tines. In balers where the header is located a significant distance from the baler wheels, the pickup header typically has separate gauge wheels to control the ground clearance.
Many models of balers are available that include a pickup header that is wider than the bale forming chamber. In many of these currently available machines there is a feeding device between the pickup and the inlet to the baler, an example of which can be seen in U.S. Pat. No. 6,314,708. This feeder has been found to be necessary to achieve desired feeding capacity, and to provide the necessary feeding force to achieve desirable performance. However, this extra component causes the pickup to be moved relative to the baler wheels, causing more difficult control of the ground clearance of the pickup header. It also requires an additional drive system with the associated cost and complexity.
A wide pickup header for a large round baler is disclosed in European Patent #0064112 in which short augers, one on each side of the pickup header, direct the forage into the center so it can enter the bale-forming chamber of the baler.
In various locations on the pickup header, teeth or tines of varying rigidity are advantageous, enhancing the pickup and delivery of the forage material to the processing portions of the harvesting equipment. A round baler having stiff teeth is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,394,682. Indications in this patent are that the use of stiffer than usual teeth at the outside ends of the pickup header improves pickup and delivery of the forage to the round baler.
There is, therefore, a need for a method and apparatus for providing for a wide pickup header for forage harvesting that does not require that the header be relocated away from the wheels of the harvesting equipment. There is a further need for a variety of teeth to be used across the width of the header.
A broad objective of the present invention is for a reliable method and apparatus for providing a pickup header on harvesting equipment that is wider than the harvesting equipment and does not require a secondary feed mechanism. Along with this objective is the purpose to provide a lateral feed system that provides the feeding force to direct the crop material perpendicular to the windrow toward the center of the pickup header. It is a further purpose of the invention to enhance the pickup and delivery of forage with a pickup header by varying the characteristics of the teeth or tines on the pickup header.
According to the present invention there is provided a pickup header assembly for a crop processing machine that is capable of picking-up crop material from a windrow of a width less than or equal to that of the pickup header and delivering the material to processing elements that are narrower than the width of the pickup.
A lateral feed system is disclosed that comprises a pair of augers at each end of the pickup header. In each pair of augers, one auger is positioned vertically over the other. In each pair, the rotational speeds are different. The pairs of augers provide the force required to move the forage toward the center of the pickup header and, ultimately, into the processing portion of the harvesting equipment, such as the bale-forming chamber of a large round baler. The lateral feed system does not require that the pickup header be moved relative to the bale forming chamber, as compared to its position with a pickup header that is not wider than the bale forming chamber. Special consideration is required to assure that the lateral feed system does not clog with forage during operation.
Individual characteristics for the tines or teeth within the pickup header are chosen based on the special needs for the location in the pickup header at which they will be installed. Each type of pickup tooth or tine has a specific function that is tailored to provide the capability for the pickup header to lift crop material from the ground, feed it to the bale forming chamber and to allow the material to move perpendicular to the windrow into alignment with the bale forming chamber. Important characteristics comprise angle compared to a plane passing through the axis of rotation of the pickup and rigidity or stiffness.
Referring now to the drawings, like reference numerals designate identical or corresponding parts throughout the several views. The included drawings reflect the current preferred and alternate embodiments. There are many additional embodiments that may utilize the present invention. The drawings are not meant to include all such possible embodiments.
The baler sides 50, 52 are operably attached at the front to the tongue beam 30 while being attached at the bottom of the opposite end to an axle (not illustrated). Wheels 40, which define the positions of the side panels 50 and 52 from the ground, support the axle.
A pickup header 70 is typically pivotally attached at a pickup header pivot axis 150 to the baler sides 50 and 52 in the vicinity of the wheels 40. The pickup header includes teeth or tines 72 that are rotated about a pickup header axis 74. The teeth 72 are effective at engaging the crop material to lift it to the bale forming chamber. The pivotal mounting of the pickup header 70 allows it to move independently of the other components of the baler, so that it is able to follow the contour of the ground and maintain a consistent ground clearance. The teeth 72 are typically at their lowest point at a line that is parallel to and generally directly below the pickup header axis 74. This is preferably kept close to the wheel 40 so that the relative movement between the pickup 70 and baler sides 50 and 52, as necessitated by variations in topography will be minimized. If the axis of rotation of the wheels 40 could be coincident with the pickup header rotational axis 74, the relative movement would be very limited. As the pickup rotational axis 74 moves further from the axis of rotation of the wheels 40, then the relative movement becomes more critical, to the point that, in some instances, separate wheels are attached near the pickup rotational axis 74, known as gauge wheels.
A pair of tailgate sides, a left tailgate side 60 and a right tailgate side 62, are pivotally attached to the baler sides 50 and 52 near the top, at a tailgate pivot axis 64. The tailgate panels 60, 62 are connected with a variety of components including idler rollers 66 to form a tailgate 68. With the tailgate in the closed position, as shown in
The sides of the bale forming chamber are defined, with the tailgate 68 in its closed position, by the baler sides 50 and 52 and the tailgate sides 60 and 62. The circumference of the bale forming chamber is defined by a a plurality belts 92 which are routed around idler rollers 66 in the tailgate, a lower drive roller 80, idler roller 82, upper drive rollers 84 and 86 and belt tightener rollers 88. The bottom of the bale forming chamber is defined by a drum roller 90. Comparing
With the baler empty as in
The present invention involves a wide pickup header 70 that replaces a standard pickup header. A standard pickup header is the same width as the bale-forming chamber, the sides of the pickup header are effectively in-line with the baler sides, so the standard pickup header is only able to lift crop material that is positioned within that area. In this standard configuration the material is exclusively moved, by the pickup header 70, in a direction substantially parallel to the windrow.
The wide pickup header 70 of the present invention is notably wider than the bale-forming chamber of the baler and includes the addition of feed components to move a portion of the material in a direction having a component that is perpendicular to the windrow. That portion is the material that initially resides outside the edge of the bale-forming chamber. The aforementioned feed components are pairs of augers 100, 102 on both the left and right sides of the pickup header 70 in the transition zone between the pickup and the bale forming chamber. The pair of augers 100, 102 on the right side of the baler are illustrated in
With the arrangement of the present invention the wide pickup header 70 can be positioned forward and aft, relative to the wheels, in substantially the same position as a standard pickup header; due in part to the physical location of and drive arrangement to the feed augers 100, 102.
It has been found that the capacity of an auger to move material in this area is affected by the height of the auger, that is, its vertical dimension. With this stacked arrangement the effective vertical dimension of the auger assembly is sufficient to provide acceptable capacity.
The performance of the auger pairs 100, 102 is further affected by the drive arrangement. The drive arrangement is illustrated in
The power is, again, passed through the baler 10 through the pickup drive shaft to a third chain drive on the left side (see
Another critical feature for proper performance is the interaction between the pickup teeth 72 and the augers 100, 102. The pickup header 70 of the present invention utilizes different styles of pickup teeth, as illustrated in
The configuration of the teeth 72 is illustrated in
Heavy teeth 202 are positioned at the end of the augers 100, 102, just to the inside of the baler sides 50, 52. These teeth are substantially more rigid than standard teeth 204, and their performance tends to increase in a wider variety of crop conditions with increasing stiffness. However, the ability of the heavy teeth 202 to survive excessive deflection that is unavoidable in the event of contact with the ground, or something on the ground, or an object plugging the baler inlet tends to decrease with increasing stiffness. It has been found that a heavy tooth 202 that requires a minimum force of 45 lbf applied to its tip in order to cause a deflection of 41° provides acceptable performance and acceptable durability. It is recognized that a stiffer tooth in this position would further enhance performance, if a material or tooth design could be identified that provided acceptable durability.
Standard teeth 204 are positioned between the heavy teeth 202, and require a force of approximately 15 lbf at their tip to deflect 41°. Typically the standard teeth 204 are capable of withstanding a greater number of cycles of extreme deflection, than the heavy teeth 202. The middle of the pickup header 70 is more likely to encounter deviations in the topography not encountered by the wheels, than the sides of the pickup header 70. Thus, the teeth mounted on the sides will experience fewer events of extreme deflection. This fact at least partially provides the possibility of acceptable tooth longevity while utilizing the heavy teeth 202 in the position illustrated, as it is likely that they will experience fewer cycles of extreme deflection as the result of contact with extreme deviations in the ground conditions.
The heavy teeth 202 are required at the illustrated position to provide extra feeding force to take the material being moved by the augers 100, 102 and push that material into the bale forming chamber.
Several combinations of these various styles of teeth 200, 202, 204 are possible, and may be utilized to provide an optimum configuration for a variety of crop conditions. For instance, in some crops, heavy teeth 202 may not be necessary. In this instance the standard teeth 204 may be installed in the positions where the heavy teeth 202 are illustrated. It is also possible that in some conditions it may be desirable to use heavy teeth 202 wherever the standard teeth 204 are illustrated.
The above embodiments are the preferred embodiments, but this invention is not limited thereto. It is, therefore, apparent that many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is, therefore, to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US3412535 *||Oct 24, 1966||Nov 26, 1968||Int Harvester Co||Double auger platform windrower|
|US3462922 *||Oct 20, 1966||Aug 26, 1969||Int Harvester Co||Row crop harvester|
|US4751811||Mar 14, 1986||Jun 21, 1988||The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company||Conveyor for a combine harvester|
|US4929904||Jul 24, 1989||May 29, 1990||Ford New Holland, Inc.||Moisture sensing apparatus with movable probe in combination with an agricultural baler having a pickup|
|US5394682||Nov 9, 1993||Mar 7, 1995||Deere & Company||Round baler pickup having stiff teeth|
|US5595055||Jul 17, 1995||Jan 21, 1997||New Holland North America, Inc.||Pickup apparatus for a round baler|
|US5819516 *||Oct 18, 1996||Oct 13, 1998||Hay & Forage Industries||Over-the-top support arm for pickup gauge wheel of a baler|
|US5848523 *||Feb 27, 1997||Dec 15, 1998||Deere & Company||Crop feed arrangement|
|US5979153||Apr 4, 1997||Nov 9, 1999||Claas Kgaa||Agricultural baler|
|US6029434||Oct 18, 1996||Feb 29, 2000||Hay & Forage Industries||Down turning stub augers on wide pick-up for round balers|
|US6058688 *||May 8, 1998||May 9, 2000||Deere & Company||Windrower specialty crop platform having right- and left-hand cantilevered augers located beneath a full-length center-feed auger|
|US6279304||Nov 8, 1999||Aug 28, 2001||Deere & Company||Crop pick-up having crop lifters incorporated in centering auger|
|US6314708||Jun 15, 2000||Nov 13, 2001||Deere & Company||Rotary conveyor tine stripper|
|US6477824 *||Jan 24, 2001||Nov 12, 2002||Agco Corporation||Round baler having incoming crop deflectors|
|US6601375||Aug 10, 2001||Aug 5, 2003||Gehl Company||Wide pickup and feeding system for supplying crop material to the crop inlet of an agricultural implement|
|US6651418||Jul 19, 2002||Nov 25, 2003||New Holland North America, Inc.||Modular pickup, stuffer, and rotor|
|US6679042 *||Nov 12, 2002||Jan 20, 2004||Acco Corporation||Infeed cutter baler having increased throughput|
|US20040011016||Jul 19, 2002||Jan 22, 2004||New Holland North America, Inc.||Stub auger support used in pickup|
|EP0064112A1||May 6, 1981||Nov 10, 1982||JOHN DEERE (Société Anonyme)||Rotary baler|
|GB2203687A||Title not available|
|JP2003009647A||Title not available|
|WO1998017098A1 *||Sep 22, 1997||Apr 30, 1998||Hay & Forage Ind||Down turning stub augers on wide pickup for round balers|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US7448196 *||Jan 5, 2007||Nov 11, 2008||Agco Corporation||Baler with multi-auger pickup|
|US7726108 *||Jan 14, 2009||Jun 1, 2010||Agco Corporation||Wide cut rotary harvester having cut crop feeder mechanism|
|US8096102 *||Oct 16, 2009||Jan 17, 2012||Cnh America Llc||Offset pickup tines to improve feeding pick up|
|US8156723 *||Apr 21, 2011||Apr 17, 2012||Cnh America Llc||Dual tine paths from different tine bars in a pickup|
|US8240117 *||Mar 7, 2011||Aug 14, 2012||Cnh America Llc||Pickup helper feeding roll|
|US8261524 *||Apr 5, 2011||Sep 11, 2012||Cnh America Llc||Pickup tine bar linkage|
|US8333059 *||Dec 22, 2010||Dec 18, 2012||Cnh America Llc||Baler direct feed pickup|
|US8353148 *||Feb 10, 2010||Jan 15, 2013||Deere & Company||Method of crop pickup floating|
|US8584439 *||Mar 29, 2012||Nov 19, 2013||Agco Corporation||Tine pickup with narrow tine spacing for a baler|
|US8863489||Mar 30, 2011||Oct 21, 2014||H & S Manufacturing Co., Inc.||Tine drive cam for windrow merger|
|US9038358||Dec 4, 2013||May 26, 2015||H & S Manufacturing Co., Inc.||Drive mechanism for a windrow merger|
|US20110192130 *||Aug 11, 2011||Derscheid Daniel E||Crop Pickup Float|
|US20120159918 *||Dec 22, 2010||Jun 28, 2012||Mcclure John R||Direct feed pickup|
|US20130167501 *||Dec 20, 2012||Jul 4, 2013||Agco Corporation||Camless pickup wrapper|
|International Classification||A01D39/00, A01D89/00, A01D43/02, A01F15/10, A01D75/00|
|Cooperative Classification||A01F15/106, A01D89/008|
|European Classification||A01F15/10C, A01D89/00E2|
|Sep 22, 2010||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Sep 24, 2014||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8